Can a relationship survive religious differences?

Thursday November 14 2019

It is important to confront the issue of

It is important to confront the issue of divergent faith issue head-on and come to a common understanding, and if you are unable to, it is advisable to walk away. NET PHOTO 

By PHILIP KITOTO

I must state from the onset that theis kind of dilemma is not just about faith but personal ideology too. There is no reason to be torn and confused yet the writing is on the wall.

Due to one reason or another, most relationships start to drift, feel stale and unattractive after starting on a high note. Unless a couple is seeking the same thing, the likelihood of growing apart is high.

The biggest fear has to do with the impact of one’s different faiths on their relationship, not proof of love. Faith is emotive, and compromise is likely to lead to regret.

Little foxes
Every couple must discover their little foxes and come up with ways of dealing with them at the earliest opportunity. In this case, the little foxes are divergent faiths.

You cannot afford to avoid or ignore what your partner feels. I read an article recently where the writer cautions about building a dream on a faulty foundation. Could you be setting yourself up for failure by ignoring the shaky foundation of your relationship? Our beliefs and convictions affect our current and future experiences.

Such beliefs and convictions, carried from our upbringing, can affect how we feel about each other and determine our future choices.

Some relationships are founded on clear convictions while others are driven on fear. Those founded on fear end up in hurt and pain. A couple must base the decision they arrive at on the faith that they hold dear and acknowledge that compromising their individual core values, convictions and beliefs will leave them powerless and insecure.

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I am sure you may have heard a friend experiencing discord in their marriage exclaim, “How come I never saw this coming? How could I be so blind? Why didn’t I walk away?”

Take it from me that for most of these couples, the writing was on the wall but they ignored it. It is advisable to be clear about your values because they form the bedrock on which a relationship sits. Having common values is the only way that you can connect at a deeper level.

In addition, if you fail to stay true to yourself and to your partner, you will soon be reaping from a lack of trust.

Extra layer
When you know that you can totally trust your partner, it erases undue worry. It is also important for a couple to have deeper communication on their divergent faith. I agree with Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend that marriage is first and foremost about love.

It is bound together by the care, need, companionship and values of two people, which can overcome hurt, immaturity and selfishness to form something better than what each person alone can produce. They suggest that, since love is not enough, the relationship needs other ingredients to grow and thrive.

Through self-examination and evaluation, since you’re in an interfaith relationship, you have an extra layer of diversity to deal with, says psychologist Joel Crohn.

It is therefore important to confront the issue of divergent faith issue head-on and come to a common understanding, and if you are unable to, it is advisable to walk away. At face value, some religions may not be fundamentally different yet there are others whose beliefs and practices are miles apart.

Adapted from Daily Nation

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